Looking back at Riverhead Rocks Olympic Tri

Reflection on my first Riverhead Rocks Olympic Distance Triathlon

This race was put on my calendar to keep the accumulation of race rust to a minimum between Eagleman 70.3 and Princeton 70.3.

I had two goals for this race.  First, have a high quality swim. A high quality swim for me was to swim 1:30/100 or faster.  Secondly, I wanted to run for the entire race. I have been dealing with a more than annoying foot issue since Eagleman and have only been able to " run" a few times.  If I could make it through the run with out any major hiccups it would be a huge confidence booster in my prep for Princeton.

The bike racks in transition were packed! There were too many bikes sandwhiched together which more than a few people commented on.  There was more than enough room in transition for a few more racks and I don't believe the event sold sold so I'm not sure why this had to be an issue.

Despite the often debated topic of swimming in Riverhead we were assured that the the water had been tested leading up to the race as well as race morning. The water quality was well within standards.

The swim course was straight forward and very easy to sight on.  The temperature of the water was startling as it switched from warm to very cold through out the 1.5K.

I had seeded myself around the 26-27 minute group.  The purpose of this was to use the swimmers ahead of me as "carrots" to chase after.  As soon as I jumped in I immediately started working my way through the group.  My stroke felt solid and I had a real good feel for the water.  My arms had their initial pump since there was no swim warm up. In order to alleviate this problem I switched up my stroke for a bit by shortening it as well as increasing the turnover.  As soon as the blood dissipated I returned to my normal stroke.  I could feel that I was having a good swim and was building confidence with each stroke that I would reach my first goal of this race.  I exited the water and knew I had put together a solid and acceptable swim.  Nobody had passed me and I was full of energy.  I  never look for the race time when I exit the water.  The reason being is that I can tell the type of swim I had by how I felt in the water and there is nothing you can do about a bad swim except to forget it and start pedaling. I swam 1:30/100.

It took my legs about 15 minutes to start firing on all cylinders which initially had me a little nervous.

The Police at the major intersections were great, Kudos to those that worked the event.

As in the swim I just set my sights on each cyclist ahead of me and worked my way through the field.

T2. The moment of truth. I slipped my sneakers on, grabbed my watch, hat and race belt and was off.  There was no initial pain, such a relief.

It took the first 5 minutes to get my running legs underneath me. A quick glance at my watch, 8:xx min/mi. No good, not bad, I know I can run faster.

I had to stop 3 times on the first loop to deal with my foot, each pit stop only lasted a few seconds.

The first loop was complete and I was ticking off 8:xx min/mi. This was a bit frustrating. I knew I was running well and my body was providing the signals to support that, so why was there such a disconnect between what my body and watch was saying?

I ignored my watch on the second loop and decided to try and race the guy in front of me.  He had opened a gap of about 40 yards on me and his right calf revealed that he was the competition.  This was going to be a fun 5k for me.

Since it was a two loop course I knew the lay of the land.  My game plan was to slowly reel him in and be on his shoulder by the railroad tracks which is shortly after the 5 mile marker.  As we reached the tracks I was within 5 feet of him.

New gameplan. Sit on his shoulder and then try to out kick him.  What the hell was going through my mind? I'm not a runner and here I am thinking to myself about sitting on his shoulder and out kicking him.  Whatever, I'm going for it. As we entered downtown we both incrementally picked up the pace. He started to gain some ground, I guess it's time to go for it? I went, he went, we crossed the finish line. I was two seconds slower. That. Was. Awesome.

Turns out my watch was off by a minute. I was actually running 7:00min/mi.

The two goals I had set prior to the race were achieved.

I want to thank my coach, Matt Wontz of Organic Endurance, for putting me in a position to be successful at each one of my races this season.

After sitting on the sidelines for the last two years it kicks a$$ to be back. Each race that I have participated in this season has brought me so much happiness and excitement I wish I could race every weekend.

Next up is the season finale, Princeton 70.3, in late September.  Seven more weeks of highly focused and intelligent training before I get a chance to celebrate my fitness again.


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